Strong, Wet Storm Hits Northern Rockies, Northern Plains With AM-Mississippi Flooding, Bjt
Undated (AP) _ A powerful storm system moved through the northern Rockies on Saturday, dropping a foot of snow in the mountains and carrying more rain to the waterlogged upper Midwest.
At midday, showers and thunderstorms were scattered from the Pacific Northwest across northern sections of the Intermountain region and the Rockies into the upper Mississippi Valley, the National Weather Service said.
Sixteen inches of snow was reported Saturday in parts of Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. Three to four inches of snow forced the closure of a section of U.S. 212 in the mountains between Wyoming and Montana.
Heavy winds buffeted much of Wyoming, with gusts up to 79 mph tearing off tree limbs in Cheyenne.
Tornado watches were issued for parts of Nebraska and South Dakota; severe thunderstorm watches were posted for parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota; and flash flood watches were posted for parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, the weather service said.
A cluster of strong thunderstorms swept across eastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota. Up to 5 inches of rain fell in two hours across parts of McCook County, S.D., and up to 4 inches fell during the morning in southwestern Minnesota’s Lyon County.
Also in Minnesota, hail as wide as quarters was reported at Sherburn and Fairmont, and trees were downed at St. Peter.
Nearly 2,000 people in Madison, S.D., were evacuated from their homes as torrential rains swelled city creeks to 2 feet above flood stage.
Gov. Walter D. Miller activated the South Dakota Army National Guard to help city officials with emergency generators, security and other duties. Residents were warned to boil their drinking water.
Showers and thunderstorms also were widely scattered across the southern Plains, Ohio Valley, New England and the eastern Gulf Coast.
Heavy rain in Ohio forced the St. Marys River out of its banks in Fort Recovery, about 50 miles northwest of Dayton, for the second straight day. Flooding in Mercer County destroyed one mobile home, and damaged 37 houses and 21 apartments, said Fran Compton of the Red Cross.
Heavier rainfall during the six hours up to 2 p.m. EDT were 0.92 of an inch at Redwood Falls, Minn.; and 0.79 of an inch at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Highs were in the 90s to near 100 across parts of the Southeast.
But afternoon temperatures were only in the 50s and 60s across parts of the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada, the northern and central Intermountain region, and the northern Rockies. Early morning lows fell into the 30s and 40s across parts of the Intermountain region.
Elko, Nev., cooled to a record low of 33.
Saturday morning’s low for the Lower 48 states was 31 at Truckee, Calif.